Monday, January 26, 2015

Chocolate Pistachio Cake: Green & Black's

Photo: Green & Black's
Today is National Pistachio Day, and I just had to post this recipe for Chocolate Pistachio Cake from Green & Black's Chocolate. Green & Black is a favorite chocolate--Fair Trade Earth Friendly Chocolate! I love this cake!

Chocolate Pistachio Cake

Butter and flour for coating pan
8 ounces dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa content, finely chopped
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) sweet butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure Madagascar vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped plus extra to decorate
* 1-2 teaspoons organic unsweetened cocoa powder

Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter cake pan. Swirl some flour around to coat completely. Invert pan and tap out excess.

Put chocolate and butter in saucepan over another saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, sift flour, baking powder, and salt into bowl; whisk well and set aside.

Combine eggs and vanilla extract in large bowl. Whisk until foamy. Add sugar and whisk until light and frothy, about 1 minute. Blend in chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, whisking to blend completely each time. Fold in pistachios.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until skewer inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. When inserted in center, a bit of moist batter will cling to it. Do not over bake.

Cool cake on rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto plate. Invert back onto rack so shiny side is up. Cool cake completely before sliding it onto serving plate. Sift the cocoa over the top and sprinkle with extra chopped pistachio nuts. Serve.

British Chocolates Won't Cross the Pond

As a result of a settlement with the Hershey’s Company, Let’s Buy British Imports, or L.B.B., agreed this week to stop importing all Cadbury’s chocolate made overseas. The company also agreed to halt imports on KitKat bars made in Britain; Toffee Crisps, which, because of their orange packaging, and yellow-lined brown script, too closely resemble Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups; Yorkie chocolate bars, which infringe on the York peppermint patty..

Read the rest of the NYT article Here. What do you think?

I'll have to have my British friends send care packages!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Irish Coffee Chocolate Mousse

Today is National Irish Coffee Day! Irish Coffee was invented at the Buena Vista Cafe, right here in San Francisco.

On my first day in California I was lucky to hitch a ride with a visiting dignitary. The day's tour of San Francisco included the hills of San Francisco, beautiful Sonoma County, the Renaissance Fair, Sausalito, Fisherman's Wharf, the Palace of Fine Arts, Cliff House, the Golden Gate Bridge, and a stop at the Buena Vista Cafe for an Irish Coffee. I saw more of the San Francisco Bay Area on that one day than I did over the next ten years.

Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe is a very San Francisco tradition. The drink was invented there in 1952. The recipe was a collaborative effort between Jack Koeppler, the Buena Vista’s owner, and Stanton Delaplane, a well-known international travel writer and San Francisco Chronicle columnist.

The official story of Irish Coffee tells of the perseverance and repeated attempts of Koeppler & Delaplane and even a trip to Shannon Airport, where a forerunner of Koeppler’s vision was served. The whipped cream posed a problem, but the input of a prominent dairy farmer turned Mayor of San Francisco, solved the problem: Age the cream for 48 hours and froth it to a precise consistency so it would float on top of the hot coffee, to Koeppler’s specifications.

So if you're in San Francisco today, it's a big day at the Buena Vista. Stop by and raise a glass!

But this is a Chocolate Blog, so once again I'm posting a recipe that includes Chocolate and the day's 'food' holiday.

Irish Coffee Chocolate Mousse

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
4 tsp Irish whiskey
2 eggs
2 Tbsp plus 4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp  Madagascar vanilla extract

Put Chocolate, 1/3 cup of cream, and 1/4 teaspoon of espresso powder in heatproof bowl. Put bowl in skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove bowl from skillet, stir in whiskey, and set aside.
In heatproof medium bowl, whisk eggs with 1 Tbsp water and 2 Tsp sugar until well blended.
Put bowl in skillet and whisk eggs constantly (to prevent from scrambling) over barely simmering water until they register 160 degrees F. on instant-read thermometer.
Remove bowl from skillet and beat at high speed with electric mixer until eggs have texture like softly whipped cream, 3 to 4 minutes.
Fold one quarter of eggs into chocolate.
Scrape chocolate mixture over remaining whipped eggs and continue to fold just until evenly incorporated.
Divide mousse into ramekins. Chill at least 1 hour, or until set, before serving.

Serve with Bailey's Irish Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream

Whip heavy cream to soft peaks. Add Baileys Irish Cream and whisk until combined.
Spoon small amount of whipped cream onto the top of each mousse ramekin.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

Photo: Kraft Foods
Today is National Peanut Butter Day, and lately I've been focused on Pie in the Sky lately! On Thursday I posted a recipe for Winnie the Pooh's Honey Chocolate Pie. Yesterday was Pie Day, and I posted a recipe for Guinness Chocolate Pie. So for today's holiday, here's a recipe for a decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie. It doesn't get much better than that. This recipe is from Kraft Foods. You can always substitute your own ingredients. Scroll down for links to recipes for creating a similar Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie from scratch.


35 NILLA Wafers, finely crushed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided  (or a high quality dark chocolate)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 bananas, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into quarters
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
2 Tbsp. PLANTERS Salted Peanuts, coarsely chopped

1. HEAT oven to 350ºF.
2. MIX wafer crumbs and butter until well blended; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 5 to 8 min. or until golden brown. Cool completely. Meanwhile, make chocolate curls from 1/2 chocolate square. Refrigerate.
3. MICROWAVE remaining 1-1/2 chocolate squares and peanut butter in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min.; stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Place bananas in crust; drizzle with melted chocolate.
4. BEAT pudding mixes and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1 cup COOL WHIP. Spread over bananas; top with remaining COOL WHIP.
5. REFRIGERATE 3 hours. Top with chocolate curls and nuts just before serving.

Want to make your Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie from scratch? Try one of these recipes from Joy the Baker or EzraPoundCake's Hunk-a Hunk-a Peanut Butter and Banana Cream Pie.

Photo: Kraft